Report: CNN Will Acquire Mashable For $200 Million

CNN Will Acquire MashableExciting (and amazing) news from the tech blogging industry: Felix Salmon from Reuters is reporting from SXSW that CNN will acquire one of the most popular blogs in the world, Mashable, for the incredible amount of more than $200 million. I think that my initial reaction says it all- WOW!

Felix Salmon is basing his report on an anonymous source (“little bird”) and predicting that CNN will release an official announcement about the acquisition today (March 12th). At this point, it still important to emphasis that nothing is confirmed yet and even Felix is saying in his video report (watch at the bottom):

“Is this true? I don’t know, but entirely possible…”

Mashable is one of the most popular tech news sites in the world with more than 20 million unique visitors every month. It was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore in Scotland and quickly grown to be one of the most influential social media news and technology sources over the web. It’s HQ is now based in New York City and it has another office in San Francisco.

The blog proud to be “the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology”, but it won’t stay so independent if the report is indeed true… Mashable already syndicating many of its articles to CNN today, which shows that the two companies has a steady relationship.

If the acquisition will actually go through, it will be considered one of the biggest website deals ever, placing it somewhere between AOL acquisition of TechCrunch in 2010 for $25-$35 million and AOL acquisition of The Huffington Post in 2011 for $315 million.

The deal will also raise the unavoidable question if the blog can keep its current popular status or even reinforce it, while it didn’t go so smooth (to say the least) for TechCrunch where its founder, Michael Arrington, was eventually fired by AOL (you can read the full story in this blogs war article).

From CNN side (which owned by Time Warner), the deal will certainly increase its web presence drastically and expose it to a much wider and varied audience, especially on the social media- Currently Mashable has about 840K followers on Facebook, 2.7 million followers on Twitter, more than 332K followers on Google+ and 23.6K followers on LinkedIn.

Here is Felix Salmon from Reuters video reporting about the (rumored at this point) acquisition:

Update- The New York Times is citing three different anonymous sources with knowledge that CNN is indeed “in advanced talks” to acquire Mashable. However, these sources aren’t certain that the deal will eventually completed.

The Times story also mentions that Mashable’s executive editor, Adam Ostrow, has marked “Like” on the Reuters story as some indication that something is going to happen.